Mallory O’Meara on Women in Horror
“Watching horror movies showed me lots of women kicking ass in starring roles. There’s even a name for the trope – the “final girl”, the last character left standing to fend for herself against the forces of evil. There is no other film genre where the leading role reliably goes to an unknown actress. Many of these women go on to successful acting careers (Hello Jamie Lee Curtis! Hi Jennifer Aniston!)
As I entered adulthood, I began to connect with these scream queens more and more. I still adored the monsters, but these female characters became increasingly compelling to me. On the way home one night, I realized why. Making my way down dark city streets to my apartment in Brooklyn, I was alert and on edge. I was looking for suspicious figures, men that could be rapists, muggers, or killers. I felt like Laurie Strode in Halloween.
… Horror is a place to explore these fears and to discover what it would be like to conquer them. It is a genre uniquely suited for the task. Horror has suffered the most critical disdain, but it also enjoys the most freedom. Its strength is its vivacity – storylines and scenes that would be too over-the-top for the mainstream. It is the genre that is easiest for unknowns and people unwelcome in major Hollywood studios to start in and find success, both in front of and behind the camera.”
Read the rest of her post on how horror is the most welcoming genre, to a look at all the amazingly talented women making a name for themselves via horror movies and how much further the filmmaking community needs to go in order to be a diverse and open industry.